Pope Francis: How Low Can He Go?
Someone needs to tell Pope Francis to stop talking to reporters on his plane. He just gets in trouble. From Agence France-Presse:
Pope Francis said Sunday that Islam could not be equated with terrorism and warned Europe was pushing its young into the hands of extremists.
“It’s not true and it’s not correct (to say) Islam is terrorism,” he told journalists aboard the papal plane during the return journey from a trip to Poland.
I’m not sure who is saying that “Islam is terrorism,” which is an inane construction that perhaps got mangled in translation or something. But it gets far worse:
Francis defended his decision not to name Islam when condemning the brutal jihadist murder of a Catholic priest in France in the latest of a string of recent attacks in Europe claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.
“In almost every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. We have them too.”
“If I have to talk about Islamic violence I have to talk about Christian violence. Every day in the newspapers I see violence in Italy, someone kills his girlfriend, another kills his mother-in-law, and these are baptized Catholics.”
And I thought Jesuits were all supposed to be so smart and well-educated.
Yes, it is true, Your Holiness, that every religion has its fundamentalists. There are Lutheran fundamentalists, Baptist fundamentalists, Hindu fundamentalists, Buddhist fundamentalists. I’m sure there are even Unitarian fundamentalists. But here’s a news flash for you: Islam is the only religion where the fundamentalists consider violence to be a legitimate, even necessary tool for advancing their cause. I don’t know of any Wisconsin Synod Lutherans who are going around using cans of mushroom soup as IEDs. While there are small numbers of Hindus and Buddhists who use violence, they are condemned by the vast majority of their co-religionists. Even the clowns at Westboro Baptist Church don’t use their “God Hates Fags” signs to beat on people. In Islam, however, violence is built into a religion that was founded in military action against unbelievers. I certainly don’t know of any other religion that has a group large enough, well-armed enough, and brutal enough to have formed it own nascent state, all while beheading, raping, enslaving, crucifying, imprisoning, and rendering homeless hundreds of thousands of your brothers and sisters in Christ, Your Holiness.
And that last line just makes me wonder if Francis has been hanging around unseen on American college campuses rather than working in the Vatican. It’s the sort of nonsensical thing you’d expect to hear out of a woefully under-educated sophomore, not the spiritual leader of more than a billion people. Get this, Your Holiness: when the Italian baptized-Catholic man kills his girlfriend or mother-in-law, he doesn’t shout, “Christ is King!” and make the sign of the cross over the dead body. And after he does it, there’s no one around to applaud his murder and claim that he’d done it in the name of Christianity. Capisce?
The pontiff was speaking after Muslims attended Catholic mass in churches around France on Sunday in solidarity and sorrow following the murder of the priest, whose throat was slit at the altar of his church.
In an echo of remarks made during his five-day trip to Poland for a Catholic youth festival, Francis said religion was not the driving force behind the violence.
“You can kill with the tongue as well as the knife,” he said, in an apparent reference to a rise in populist parties fuelling racism and xenophobia.
No, of course religion has nothing to do with it. The monsters of the Islamic State–not to mention their brethren in al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, the PLO, Islamic Jihad, the al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram, Ansar al-Sharia, al-Shabaab, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, and Jemaah Islamiyah (gee, are we seeing a pattern here?)–have nothing to do with Islam. Apparently the Pope not only has the power to tell Roman Catholics what they are required to believe, but also has the power to define Islam, and to say who is in or out, who is really Islamic, and who’s just faking it. Like the Holy Spirit, Francis knows the hearts of men, and he just knows that religion has nothing to do with their motives, their actions, or their goals. They’re really in the terrorism business for the perks–the 72 virgins, the vacations in exotic European locations, the 401(k) plan, that sort of thing.
As for the tongue killing as well as the knife, all I can say is that Father Jacques Hamel would be alive now if his assassins had decided to give him a good tongue-lashing, rather than slitting his throat. Is there is anything Francis could have said following the murder of one of his own that would have been any less sensitive, any less caring, or any more indicative of his utter cluelessness?
“Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” Without wishing Thomas a Becket’s fate on Francis, if I were a Catholic I’d be asking just this question.
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